The antitumor efficacy of irinotecan may be dose dependent. This study aimed to determine the safety and efficacy of high-dose (HD) irinotecan combined with LV5FU2 or simplified LV5FU (LV5FUs) in first-line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.
Patients and methods: Patients with unresectable and measurable metastatic colorectal cancer, not pretreated for metastatic disease, were given irinotecan 260 mg/m(2) combined with LV5FU2 in the first 25 patients, then with LV5FUs (HD-FOLFIRI) in 35 patients. G-CSF was given in case of febrile neutropenia, grade 4 neutropenia >7 days or neutropenia grade >1 at day 15.
Results: The response rate was 57% (95% confidence interval 43-69%). Second surgery with curative intent was performed in 28% of patients, leading to 20% radiological complete response. Median response duration, time to progression and overall survival were 11, 9 and 22 months, respectively. The median dose intensity of irinotecan was 117 mg/m(2)/week. G-CSF was given to 45% of patients over 33% of cycles. Usual toxicity of irinotecan and 5-FU were observed without major increased frequency, except hematological toxicity. Tolerance was similar with LV5FU2 and LV5FUs, though more asymptomatic grade 3-4 neutropenia was observed with LV5FU2.
Conclusion: HD-irinotecan plus LV5FU2 or HD-FOLFIRI is feasible and achieved a high response rate and postsurgery complete response rate.
Copyright 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.